Wednesday, September 30, 2009

october blogging

Hey there reader! Remember when The Accidental Wisconsinite used to blog on a semi-regular basis? Remember classic posts that were passed around the internet causing my Google Analytics page to make some pretty line graphs?

I hope to bring those back.

The weather is getting colder and it's getting darker earlier. That means I can hunker down and start entertaining (?) you all again with my witty bloggery opinions of life and Milwaukee.

I'm going to mix it up a little bit too. Here's what you (and I) can hope for in October:

Monday Munchies - Still will focus on my kitchen adventures and dining experiences, but I'll try to mix in a healthy dose of agriculture and sustainable food related issues

Twofer Tuesday's will offer two conflicting posts--an optimistic Milwaukee Props and a more critical WTFWisconsin

Worldly Wednesday - This is a new feature I'd like to add, focusing on issues around the globe that come to my attention. I actually was pretty darn inspired by the documentary Reporter that I caught during the Milwaukee Film Festival, which highlighted the work of New York Times reporter Nick Kristof and his convictions regarding the role of responsible journalism to highlight global crises. The film took a swipe at the personalization of the media and blogs, which is allowing people to go through their day and not even know about terrible events going on around the world. This only set off the alarm that was already stirring since my co-worker did not get my Joe Wilson reference after the "You Lie!" incident. If I can reach my handful of readers with global awareness, maybe I can make a nanochange.

Time Out Thursday - Since it's rare that I have a weekend where nothing is going on, Thursday's will serve as my weekend preview

Freestyle Friday - I'll try and get something short and random up, whether it be pictures, links, events, whatever

Sassy Saturday - I'll foray into some self-reflection here, whether it be on friendship, lifestyles, the single life, whatever. We'll see how this one goes.

Various & Sunday Items - This will be a longer potpourri blog, likely ending up either Girl on Film, Art Attack, Music Madness, Globetrotting, or Daily Inspiration

Anything YOU would like to see me write about more?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

girl on film: weeknight festing

I hopefully can find time after this all over to write proper opinions.

Yesterday I caught Il Divo, which was the quirkiest mafia film I've ever seen.

Tonight I finally saw the documentary Art & Copy, a must for any creative professional. I also saw what I'm declaring my best movie of the festival thus far, Terribly Happy. I had zero expectations going in and wow, it was just a fantastic film.

More later. Bed before midnight!

Monday, September 28, 2009

girl on film: documentaries and revenge

Hopefully will have time to write proper thoughts tomorrow, but the films for today were:

3 PM: Reporter

5 PM: Changing the Conversation

7:15 PM: All Tomorrow's Parties

9:30 PM: Revanche

The first one was probably my favorite of the day, just a really well-made documentary. I feel my opinions of Changing may have been tarnished by watching an excellent film beforehand.

Oh, and the first one had to overcome the rocky talkback at the start. There was a short film, "It's in the P-I," by two Seattle filmmakers and a quick Q&A before the feature. This wackjob lady walked in late and did not follow the cardinal rule of "if you don't have any clue what is going on, keep your mouth shut." The filmmakers were answering a question about the 5-day film competition they'd made the piece for, when this woman asks "SO DID YOU GUYS MAKE A MOVIE?"

Filmmaker: "Uh, yeah, the movie that just showed..."

Then later, after a couple more relevant questions, crazy lady again: "SO ARE YOU GUYS MILWAUKEE GUYS?"

Filmmaker: "Uh, no, um, we're from Seattle...."

Really? What is wrong with people? And why do nuttos like this have to give a bad impression of the Milwaukee community?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

girl on film: gay politicians, not really gay hipsters, and korean serial killers

Day three of the Milwaukee Film Festival for me, and day two of my movie viewing experience.

After a shift of theatre managing at the Oriental Theatre, I caught the documentary Outrage, which I've been looking forward to for quite some time. The film focuses on hypocritical closeted politicians and the reason gay media outlets publicly out them. It thoughtfully explored the reasons politicians are and/or have been closeted (kudos to the "out" politicians who shared very personal stories in the film). It painted many of these politicians not just as despicable, but really, people who should be pitied for not being able to truly be their real selves. It expressed hope though that this may not be a problem as younger generations accept the LGBT community as part of the general community.

I ended up bailing on my fellow FUEL leaders for the Kings of Leon concert in favor of a much needed nap and the desire to catch the much-hyped Humpday instead. As I "status messaged" earlier, by age 29 I should've known I'd pick an indie film over a mainstream concert, and I should've saved my $25.

Definitely glad I caught Humpday. It was pretty darn hilarious, in that mumblecore Gen-Yish kinda way. At the same time, it quite genuinely portrayed relationships of best friends and (what I imagine) married couples. To sum it up, this movie's alternate title could have been "Zack & Marty Make a Porno" -- about two best friends (this time of the same gender) who consider making an adult film. Hilarity and self-reflection ensues. I also got my share of beard (thanks to actor Joshua Leonard) in this movie, since I'll be missing Built to Spill at Turner Hall tomorrow night. I had to giggle at the fact that the protaganist in the film was a transit planner because I can't imagine anyone that hipster-y attractive and adorably angsty working in my office. Perhaps I need to transfer to Seattle. I was glad to see this after Outrage, because films like this give me hope that the more open society is about issues of sexuality (and not treating sexual feelings like they're dirty, disgusting things to repress and NEVER, EVER, EVER share with ANYONE), the better we all will be toward addressing the real issues in this world (aren't things like climate change, terrorism, collapse of global economic systems just a WEE bit more important than gay marriage? Just a wee?).

I ended up meeting up with my old pal Howard via Twitter, as well as his friend Tonia, for the midnight movie. The Chaser was probably the best serial killer thriller I've seen since Silence of the Lambs. It was funny, it was touching, it was violent, it was gutwrenching, it was DRAINING. But, whoa. I don't know if I could ever watch it again, but I would highly recommend it. I really hope they don't bastardize it if Hollywood remakes it for the American market. After all, the glory of indie and foreign films is you just KNOW they're not going to end well. No matter how much they tease you that it might.

Unfortunately, on the bike ride home, I encountered something that is much more sinister than Korean serial killers -- American drunk driving culture. Of course it also didn't help that some drunk idiot stole the front light off my bike (there goes another $12 down the drain). I had two assholes speed by me (one had to be going over 90 mph down Farwell Avenue, which I believe is a 30 zone), but the scariest of all was this shithead that lurched through a red light at Farwell/Brady/Cambridge nearly taking me and a pedestrian out in the process. Thank God my primordial scream (it's amazing what vocal capacity you have as headlights move directly toward your side) stopped the guy enough for him to slow down, swerve around me and yell "BITCH!" Of course, instead of getting his license plate like a sane person, I spouted off a string of obscenities that would make a sailor blush as he sped away. The pedestrian was like "YES! Thank you!", but as soon as I'd pedaled into safety I burst into sobs.

In some aspects I guess I can thank these drunk idiots -- the adrenaline gave me enough energy to write this blog entry. Off to bed before a full slate of flicks tomorrow.

girl on film: it was a dark and stormy night...

Tonight was the first night of film viewing for me at the Milwaukee Film Festival, as I worked at the Oriental Theatre for opening night.

Unfortunately I had to miss Modus Operandi, due to a tailgating commitment with co-workers. The rain did not a merry tailgate make, and I left the game (which the Brewers won, yay!) early to meet up with Jason to go film it up.

What better flicks for a dark and stormy night than a biopic of a sociopath and a homage to '80s horror about satantic cults?

Actually, Bronson, the first movie, was absolutely superb. It's playing again at the Marcus North Shore Cinema, so if you get a chance to catch it, do so. The write-up compared it to A Clockwork Orange, and I can't say that's inaccurate at all. The direction was extremely Kubrickian. It's also a movie, however violent, that I'd like to see again to catch all the nuances. There's so many layers to it, once you get beyond the shock value of the extreme violence (sort of like Fight Club, which I admittedly also need to see again). The lead actor, Tom Hardy, was absolutely brilliant and I look forward to seeing him in more things (especially since I'm sure he can be quite sexy when he isn't bashing people's heads in). Plus, it may have the best line in all of the festival: "Magic? You just pissed on a gypsy in the middle of fucking nowhere."

Of course, we couldn't be content with just catching an intense psychological profile. Nope. We had to freak ourselves the EFF out with The House of the Devil

There was a reason in the '80s that my parents didn't let us watch horror movies. They wanted to save on their electricity bills!!! I came home and promptly turned on all my lights. Screw SUVs, horror movies are fueling our dependence on foreign oil. Yes, I know I'm not "babysitting" in the middle of nowhere. I think there's no satanic cultists living in my building. I know there's no total eclipse of the moon this evening. Unlike most modern mainstream slasher flicks, where it's just about the body count of hot chicks and frat boys, this had minimal characters and maximum suspense. It didn't challenge me to reexamine my life or perspectives, but it scared the crap out of me, which is exactly what it was supposed to do.

Of course, it didn't help that Jason tried to freak me out as I was getting out of the car. I think I scared him a little when I screamed at him to "KNOCK IT OFF!!! DON'T EVEN START!!" He's lucky I didn't go Bronson on his ass.


I forgot to mention the dude sitting next to me during HOTD that added an extra element of suspense. You never knew how he was going to react. At one point of jumpiness, he elbowed me sooooo hard in the ribs that I practically jumped in Jason's lap. Jason had no idea this was going on and wondered why I was EXTRA freaking out. Talk about experiential theatre!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

girl on film: milwaukee film fest starts thursday!

Did you ever skip a year of Christmas? Something came up and the holidays were sort of overlooked? Maybe you did just a quick dinner and some small gifts, but no big blowout? That's how it felt in 2008 when there was no film festival in Milwaukee. Fortunately at the time I was pretty busy working on the Obama campaign and sort of overlooked the empty 11 days at the end of September/beginning of October.

However, this year, with the return of the Milwaukee Film Festival, with an actual non-profit, MilwaukeeFilm at the helm, I am completely in the holiday spirit. I'm going to be a theatre manager again this year, working with great volunteers and staff and assisting patrons with getting to the films that they want to see.

In the meantime, there's also plenty of films that I want to see. It's hard to catch everything, but below is what's on my list. All my shows (and volunteer shifts) will be at the Oriental Theatre, but note that films are also showing at the Marcus North Shore Cinema. The complete program guide is on the Milwaukee film website.

Friday, September 25:
(I'll be cutting out of my last Brewers game of the season early to catch these creepy flicks)
10 PM: Bronson

12 AM: The House of the Devil

Saturday, September 26:
5 PM: Outrage (I am so stoked for this documentary on self-loathing, closeted Republicans denying human rights because they can't deal with their own identity issues)

12 AM: The Chaser (I'm heading back for this midnight movie after joining my fellow FUEL leaders for the Kings of Leon concert)

Sunday, September 27:
Noon: Somers Town

3 PM: Reporter

5 PM: Changing the Conversation (a documentary on gun violence by local filmmaker Janet Fitch, who participated in one of our YNPN-Milwaukee events earlier this summer)

7:15 PM: All Tomorrow's Parties (duh, I'll be at the music documentary)

9:30 PM: Revanche (missed the two showings of this during MilwaukeeFilm's "Monday Night at the Movies" series and am painfully skipping Built to Spill at Turner Hall to finally catch it)

Monday, September 28:

5:15 PM: Il Divo

Tuesday, September 29:

5:30 PM: Art & Copy (missed the screening this summer, looking forward to an "inside" the ad industry doc)

7:15 PM: Terribly Happy

Wednesday, September 30:

5 PM: The Horse Boy

Thursday, October 1:

7 PM: The Milwaukee Showcase (short films by Milwaukee filmmakers!)

Saturday, October 3:

12:30 PM: Crude

2:15 PM: The Life Over There (another Milwaukee film)

5 PM: The Milwaukee Show (more Milwaukee short films!)

9:15 PM: The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle

Sunday, October 4:
Hopefully starting the day at the Brady Street Dog Parade with Jane and Gracie, then heading for an afternoon of movies.

3:30 PM: Kimjongilia

5:15 PM: Gigante

7:30 PM: Precious (this film has been a hit at festivals all year, excited to see it here in Milwaukee)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saying Goodbye: Trouble the Cat

I realize I haven't blogged since I returned from my vacation, so it's pretty crappy of me to break my silence by eulogizing a cat. Especially a cat that wasn't mine. But if you don't understand, then you never knew Trouble Landberg. And if you don't understand, you can skip this blog.

Trouble was one of a handful of cats I've ever truly liked in my life. This may have been because she didn't set me sneezing and wheezing, but it was more than that.

Trouble was a really friendly cat. Almost dog-like in her demeanor. She always wanted to be petted and always had to sniff around our wine and cheese. I would like to believe she was just as into "LOST" and "Mad Men" as the humans that invaded her space every Wednesday and Sunday evenings. I hope in kitty heaven she gets to watch these shows. As I posted to Facebook, maybe she already knows what's going to happen during the last season of "LOST."

Speaking of "LOST," Trouble has been a constant in the lives of a core group of twentysomething friends throughout our post-college years. She's been there through all of our break-ups and new relationships, drunken nights and hungover days, Superbowl Parties and holidays -- we've all matured and changed, but Trouble was all the while a purring, happy little furball.

Trouble left one of her nine lives the evening of September 17, 2009.

Trouble is survived by her son Boo (who is a pretty good cat too) and her mom, Becky, who turns 30 tomorrow. (God really has a sense of humor, doesn't he?) My heart goes out to them.

She will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

globetrotting: webcation to san francisco

Sorry for the lack of posts, I had a jam-packed weekend and now I'm off to San Francisco to visit my best friends. I will be light on the posts, but did want to reveal that Amtrak resolved my service issue from last month. So huge props to them!

See ya when I return!

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